Concert Preview: Strings Attached

Emerald City Music's spring 2017 season kicks off with a bold performance of all-string chamber music. "Strings Attached" features four unique works, each with an eclectic arrangement of strings. Read more about the program below:



The evening kicks off with music by Antonin Dvorak, a famed 19th century Bohemian composer who made an iconic voyage to "The New World" to help shape America's musical identity. 


DVORAK – Terzetto in C Major for Two Violins and Viola, op. 74 (1887)

At this time: Composed over a few days in January 1887, the year that the United States signed the naval base lease of Pearl Harbor, work began on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the first-ever Groundhog Day was observed in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. 

Inspiration: While living in Prague, Antonin Dvorak would often rent a room of his home to students. One such student was Josef Kruis, a chemist and amateur violinist studying with Jan Pelikan. The combination of two violins and viola is very unusual, and Dvorak intended the work to be played by Kruis and Pelikan, with the composer himself playing the viola. 

Fun fact: The Terzetto was written just five years before Dvorak left his homeland to voyage to the United States. While in the US from 1892-1895, Dvorak was charged with defining America's musical voice, and when not teaching in New York City, he traveled by train to Spillville, Iowa and as far North as St. Paul, Minnesota. 


ARENSKY – String Quartet No. 2, for Violin, Viola, and Two Cellos (1894)

At this time: Composed in 1894, the year Karl Benz receives the US Patent for the gasoline-driven automobile, and the US Congress creates the Bureau of Immigration. 

Inspiration: The quartet is dedicated to the memory of Pytor Illich Tchaikovsky, whose recent death affected Arensky profoundly. The opening Moderato draws from a mournful Russian liturgical chant, and the second movement is based on Tchaikovksy's own song, "The Christ Child Had a Garden". The final movement borrows themes from a Russian funeral mass before a triumphant ending, celebrating the eternal nature of Tchaikovsky's music. 

Fun fact: Arensky has an Antarctic glacier named after him, the "Arensky Glacier". It flows south from Beethoven Peninsula (Alexander Island) into the north end of Boccherini Inlet.


MARTINU – Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola, H. 313 (1947)

At the time: Composed in 1947, the year that the World War II Peace Treaties were signed, President Harry Truman introduces his anti-communism Truman Doctrine, and baseball legend Jackie Robinson was named "Rookie of the Year" by Sporting News.

Inspiration: In an 1942 interview, Martinu stated, "I have been influenced by many things, but most of all by the national music of Czechoslovakia, by the music of Debussy, and by the English madrigals... I recognized something of Bohemian folk music in these madrigals." Following the devastation of World War II, Martinu - exhausted and in poor health - traveled to the United States, where he wrote this piece.

Fun fact: The piece was written for and dedicated to violist Lillian Fuchs and her brother, violinist Joseph Fuchs. Lillian kept many pupils, including Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zuckerman, and Dorothy DeLay (one of the teachers of our Artistic Director, violinist Kristin Lee).


BRAHMS - String Sextet no. 2 in G Major, op. 36 (1864-1865)

At the time: Composed from 1864-1865, during the American Civil War, Cornell University is chartered in Ithaca NY, and Lewis Carroll publishes the book, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland".

Inspiration: This work is composed for two violins, two violas, and two cellos, and was written in the country surroundings of Lichtental in the Southwest of Germany bordering France. During this time, Brahms's heart was torn between two life-long loves: Clara Schumann and Agathe von Siebold, and the work contains references to each throughout. 

Fun fact: While the Sextet was composed in Germany, it received its first performance in Boston, Massachusetts on October 11, 1866 at the Mendelssohn Quintet Club. It was Brahms's first premiere in the United States.



Emerald City Music is proud to present a high-caliber cast of classical soloists and chamber musicians, including:

Ani Aznavoorian, cello (principal cellist of Camerata Pacifica) 
David Requiro, cello (First Prize Winner of the 2008 Naumburg International Violoncello Competition) 
Kristin Lee, violin (Avery Fisher Career Grant winner) 
Roberto Diaz, viola (CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music) 
Tessa Lark, violin (Winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition) 
Yura Lee, viola (Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center) 
Ani Kavafian, violin (35th year performing with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and professor at Yale University)



February 10, 2017 - 415 Westlake in South Lake Union, Seattle
Cost: $45, includes open bar

February 11, 2017 - The Washington Center Mainstage, Olympia
Cost $28 general, $43 premium, $10 students